The Community Music Center of Houston (CMCH), along with the Texas Southern University Music Department and the Community Artists Collective will honor and recognize artists who have contributed to the Black Music aesthetic by hosting the CMCH Black Music Month Legacy Concert, this Saturday, June 25, from 3 pm to 6 pm at the Rhinehart Auditorium, on the campus of Texas Southern University.
This concert and arts exhibition will highlight 37 years of service by musicians to the organization. The mission of CMCH is the preservation, appreciation and performance of music that reflect the traditions of African Americans throughout the diaspora.
The event will feature performances by living legends Howard Harris and Thomas Smith, in addition to performances by the Conrad Johnson Orchestra with vocalists Carol Blanchard and Julie Johnson; the Will Grant Still Ensemble (conducted by Dr. Anne Lundy CMCH artistic director); the Howard Harris Jazz Ensemble; and jazz violinist Jairus Daigle will make his Houston debut featuring Nic Allen and Philippe Edison.
Honoring the musical excellence of African Americans is extremely important.
“Songs by African American musicians span the breadth of the human experience and resonate in every corner of our Nation — animating our bodies, stimulating our imaginations, and nourishing our souls,” said President Barack Obama. “In the ways they transform real stories about real people into art, these artists speak to universal human emotion and the restlessness that stirs within us all. African American music helps us imagine a better world, and it offers hope that we will get there together.”
June is African American Music Appreciation Month, and in recognition of it, President Obama also issued a proclamation that reads:
A vital part of our Nation’s proud heritage, African American music exemplifies the creative spirit at the heart of American identity and is among the most innovative and powerful art the world has ever known. It accompanies us in our daily lives, and it has rung out at turning points in our history and demonstrated how our achievements as a culture go hand-in-hand with our progress as a Nation. During African American Music Appreciation Month, we honor the artists who, through this music, bring us together, show us a true reflection of ourselves, and inspire us to reach for the harmony that lies beyond our toughest struggles.
Songs by African American musicians span the breadth of the human experience and resonate in every corner of our Nation — animating our bodies, stimulating our imaginations, and nourishing our souls. In the ways they transform real stories about real people into art, these artists speak to universal human emotion and the restlessness that stirs within us all. African American music helps us imagine a better world, and it offers hope that we will get there together.
This month, we celebrate the music that reminds us that our growth as a Nation and as people is reflected in our capacity to create great works of art. Let us recognize the performers behind this incredible music, which has compelled us to stand up — to dance, to express our faith through song, to march against injustice, and to defend our country’s enduring promise of freedom and opportunity for all.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2016 as African American Music Appreciation Month. I call upon public officials, educators, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate activities and programs that raise awareness and foster appreciation of music that is composed, arranged, or performed by African Americans.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.
Also, in recognition of African American Music Appreciation Month, the CMCH is hosting a Black Music Month art exhibition that will be on display from now through June 30th at the Community Artists Collective (CAC), presenting the captivating works of distinguished visual maestros Israel McCloud and Leonard Freeman. The CAC is located at 4101 San Jacinto, on the corner of Cleburne, in the heart of Third Ward. A reception and photo exhibit honoring the musical contributions of living legends Howard Harris and Thomas Smith; including those who are gone not forgotten – Kinny Abair, Lavada Durst, Conrad Johnson, Mary Kaya and Derrick Lewis, will be held at the CAC on Wednesday, June 22, from 6 pm to 8 pm.
All events are free and open to the public. Donations are encouraged, but not required.
The Community Music Center of Houston is funded by a grant from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance